The initiative “Towards an alliance of European cities against violent extremism” aims to provide a platform to facilitate inter-city exchange at the political and subsequently technical level, and mobilise European local and regional authorities for the prevention of radicalisation leading to violent extremism.  The initiative seeks to provide a European forum for the exchange of information on promising practices, existing programmes and tools, as well as to support capacity building and the development of innovative local pilot initiatives through assistance such as training.

This initiative is led by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, a pan-European political assembly representing over 200,000 local and regional authorities in 47 European States, which promotes at the local level the core values of the Council of Europe – human rights, democracy and the rule of law -, and the European Forum for Urban Security (Efus). Created in 1987, Efus is the only European network of local and regional authorities decicated to urban security,  gathering some 250 cities and regions.

Concretely, the initiative will build on activities envisaged in the Congress Resolution 381 (2015) and Recommendation 371 (2015) on “Combatting radicalisation at grassroots level: the role of local and regional authorities” as well as on Efus’s projects LIAISE and LIAISE 2 (“Local Institutions Against Extremism”), which are co-funded by the European Commission.

Initiated by established organisations that bring together European local and regional authorities, the initiative “Towards an Alliance of European cities against violent extremism” will build on and act in partnership with existing structures and networks. It will function in partnership with the international Strong Cities Network and could serve as a complementary initiative to the EU Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN), representing Europe’s local authorities.